Kate de Medeiros, PhD, MS
Kate de Medeiros is the O'Toole Family Professor of Gerontology in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Her research includes narrative and other qualitative approaches to understanding the experience of older age, arts interventions in dementia research, and the evolution of gerontology as a discipline. She is the author of two books, Narrative Gerontology in Research and Practice (2014, Springer Publishing), The Short Guide to Aging and Gerontology (Policy Press, 2017), co-author of the upcoming Global Aging: Comparative Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course (Springer, 2020) and the Senior Editor of the Emerald Series, the Emerald Studies of the Humanities and Later Life in addition to authoring over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Her work has been funded by the Alzheimer's Association, the National Institute on Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, and the Brookdale Foundation.
Kelly Niles-Yokum, PhD, MPA
Kelly Niles-Yokum, MPA, PhD. graduated from the program in 2006 with a concentration in aging policy. Her dissertation was titled, "Older Adults and Consumer-Direction: Factors That Play a Role in Choice and Control." She is currently the Director of the Master’s in Gerontology Program and associate professor at the University of La Verne in La Verne, CA. She is the Managing Editor of the peer-reviewed, internationally recognized journal, Gerontology and Geriatrics Education.
Dan serves as Professor and Director of Gerontology at Youngstown State University and is the first appoionted as the YSU DePizzo Endowed Chair in Gerontology. His research interests are in the social determinants of recovery from illness, depression, social support, and gerontology education. Recent publications involve the topics of hospice and palliative care, depression, and social support. Dr. Van Dussen is the Policy Chair and board member of the Ohio Association of Gerontology in Education. Dr. Van Dussen serves on the Academic Program Development Committee for the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.
Jian Ye, MD, PhD
Jian Ye graduated December 2006 after defending her dissertation on, “Access to Care and Functional Change Among Aged Medicare Beneficiaries with Parkinson’s Disease: A multilevel analysis”. After graduation, she worked as an epidemiologist for the World Bank Group, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. Afterwards she works in CSL Behring as a clinical safety physician. In this role, she provides guidance and expertise on all aspects of clinical safety throughout the entire lifecycle of a drug with special emphasis on ongoing evaluation of safety information during clinical development and pharmacovigilance post approval. She currently is Medical Director, Clinical Safety Physician, Oncology at Merck
Quincy Samus, PhD, MS
Quincy Samus graduated May 2007. Her dissertation was on, "Differentiated Patterns and Determinants of Functional Dependency in Assisted Living Residents with and without Dementia." Along with her PhD in Gerontology Quincy earned an MS in Epidemiology. Dr. Quincy Samus, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is an applied gerontologist, trained in epidemiology and health services research. Her research focuses on quality of care and delivery of health services to older adults and families affected by mental health conditions, primarily dementia, living in community and residential care settings. She also directs the Translational Aging Services Core (TASC) which aims to support the conceptualization, evaluation and implementation of innovative, evidence-based practices that address the diverse needs of older adults with mental health conditions, their families, and caregivers. The overarching goal of her work is to improve care quality and outcomes through translation of evidence-based practices to real world settings.
Magdalena Tolea, PhD, MS
Magda Tolea is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Previously she was a Research Assistant Professor of Integrated Medical Sciences at Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine where she conducted research focused on physical correlates of cognitive aging. Magda graduated in 2007 with her PhD and a dual-degree in epidemiology.
Andrea Rubin, PhD, MSW
Andrea Rubin is currently working as a Hospital To Home Coordinator for Baltimore County Department of Aging. She graduated in December 2006 after defending her dissertation, "Keeping the Back Door Closed: Barriers to Community Reintegration for Working Age and Older Adults with Disabilities."
Dan Andersen, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H., graduated May 2008 after defending his dissertation, "Frailty in Older Hip Fracture Patients" and also earning a dual-degree in epidemiology. Dan is currently a Program Director at the RELI Group where he provides consulting services to CMS. Dan also serves as the Program Director for the Gerontology program at McDaniel College that includes a master’s degree in gerontology and a specialist in aging post-baccalaureate certificate. After graduation, Dan completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Injury Prevention and Trauma Response at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He then worked at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) where he focused on data analytics and helped lead federal projects such as the Nursing Home Compare website and the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care.
Rebecca Perron, PhD, MPH
Rebecca Perron is a Senior Research Advisor in the AARP Research Center. She works on issues related to aging and financial security and older workers. Some of her recent research topics include long-term unemployment among older workers and Social Security planning perspectives of future beneficiaries and financial planners. Rebecca also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College, a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her dissertation (2008) is entitled Determining Predictors of Nursing Home Admission and Sub-Populations of Skilled Nursing Facility Residents Using the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). Prior to working at AARP, Ms Perron held research/intern positions at Westat, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and as a National Academy of Social Insurance-Somers Long-Term Care intern. She also volunteers and serves on the board of directors at her local Council on Aging.
Loretta Ayd-Simpson, PhD
Loretta Ayd-Simpson graduated in December 2008. Her dissertation was titled, "Neighborhood Stressors and Health Disparities: Is Allostatic Load the Missing Link?"
Joanna Schmidt graduated in May 2009. She is currently a Data Analyst at Integrity Management Services, LLC (IMS). This is a health care consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area, a subsidiary of Strategic Management Systems, Inc., specializing in assisting government organizations detect fraud and abuse in their programs. Joanna analyzes Medicare and Medicaid health care claims data through multivariate methods to detect fraud and abuse in within various aspects of Medicare including both Part A and Part B. In addition, she conducts sampling and projections for investigations into fraud for a Zone Program Integrity Contractor.
Kim DeMichele graduated in December 2009. Since January 2008, she has worked as an analyst at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, most recently with the Division of Consumer Assessment & Plan Performance in the Medicare Drug Benefit and C & D Data Group. Kim is currently the government task leader for the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey, which provides longitudinal data on the physical and mental health statuses of beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare managed care plans.
Sunny graduated in 2009 with her PhD and an MS in epidemiology after defending her dissertation, "Racial Disparities in Nursing Home Quality of Care: A Comparison of Black and White residents Using the 2004 NNHS Data." Sunny's first position was a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Administration at the University of Michigan – Flint. She is currently an Assistant Professor, School of Health and Human Services, at the University of Baltimore.
Maria-Theresa C. Okafor graduated July 2010.Her dissertation was on "Effects of Acculturation on Health Outcomes for African Immigrant, Adults." Maria is currently a Research Associate at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Israel Cross, PhD, MA
Israel Cross graduated in August 2010. Israel is a Lieutenant Colonel (LCDR) in the US Public Health Service. He works in the Division of Program Measurement and Support in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality here at CMS. He serves both as a lead for education and outreach efforts for Marketplace Qualified Health Plans and for the Center's Public Reporting Internal Workgroup.
Sarah Fogler, PhD, MA
Sarah Fogler graduated in August 2010. Her first position was a health insurance specialist at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, MD, where she works to develop and implement health care policies relevant to the aged and individuals with disabilities. Sarah is now the Senior Director of Population Health, Planning & Business Development, GBMC
Katherine Giuriceo graduated in May 2011, including a dual-degree in applied sociology. Prior to graduation she worked at the Project Director for the Baltimore Experience Corps Study at the Center on Aging and Health (COAH) at Johns Hopkins University where she managed the research and operational activities of the research trial. Currently she is working as a Research Analyst at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in the Rapid-Cycle Evaluation Group (REG). In addition to intramural research projects Katherine works as part of the evaluation team on several CMMI demonstration projects.
Tommy Piggee, PhD, MA
Tommy Piggee, a 2011 graduate of the UMBC/UMC GERO Program is currently a research scientist at AQE Solutions, Largo, MD. Dr. Piggee’s focus is on health wellness and chronic disease management of individuals across the life span. He is presently participating in evaluation of select HIV/AIDS Programs in Maryland.
Sarah Canham, PhD
Sarah Canham, PhD, is an Associate Professor with joint appointments in the College of Social Work and the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning in the College of Architecture and Planning at The University of Utah. She is also the Associate Director of the The U’s Health Interprofessional Education program and is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Sarah's dissertation titled, " The Experience of Benzodiazepine Dependence Among Older Women: A Cultural Analysis" was funded by a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Individual Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse. Her research interests include housing security, homelessness, substance abuse, and social support in later life.
Katherine Marx, PhD, MA
Dr. Marx is a Research Associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing’s Center for Innovative Care in Aging. Additionally, Dr. Marx is adjunct faculty with the University of Maryland, University College and teaches several courses in the Gerontology department. Dr. Marx has her doctorate in Gerontology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Education. The topic of her dissertation was Older Men’s Knowledge of Osteoporosis by Race and Risk Factors. Her research interests include caregiving, health promotion, and senior housing.
Shoshana Ballew, PhD
Shoshana Ballew, PhD, is an Assistant Scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, mainly working with a large international consortium of studies addressing critical questions related to chronic kidney disease prognosis. Dr. Ballew is an Associate faculty member at the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research as well as the Assistant Program Director for the Johns Hopkins Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology Training grant.
Patrick J. Doyle, Ph.D., MA
Patrick J. Doyle, Ph.D. graduated in August 2012. Patrick now works His research focuses on person-centered care, environments and aging, long-term care, and dementia caregiving. Patrick has joined Brightview Senior Living as Director of Memory Care Services at Brightview’s Home Office in Baltimore, Maryland. A skilled and experienced researcher and educator in the field of gerontology and dementia care, Dr. Doyle will work with associates of Wellspring Village®, Brightview’s specialized program and environment for people with dementia and other forms of memory impairment.
Jennifer Lloyd, PhD, MS
Jennifer Lloyd defended her dissertation, "Bone Mineral Density and Hip Fracture by Body Mass Index" and graduated in May 2013 along with her dual-degree in epidemiology. She currently works as a Social Science Research Analyst for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in the Research and Rapid Cycle Evaluation group.
Susan Hannum, PhD, MA
Susan came to the UMB/UMBC Doctoral Program in Gerontology after working at Thomas Jefferson University's Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health. After beginning her doctoral studies in 2007, Susan engaged in several qualitative research projects in conjunction with her mentor, Dr. Robert Rubinstein. It was this early exposure to research in the areas of suffering, illness, generativity, and medical anthropology, and gerontology that would later influence Susan to pursue her own research agenda around the experiences of cancer among older adults. Her dissertation in this area was supported by the R36 dissertation grant mechanism from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. In 2013, upon graduation, Susan began a postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is now an Assistant Scientist in the Department of Health, Behavior, and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Amanda Peeples, PhD, MA
Amanda Peeples graduated in August 2013. Her dissertation research was an ethnographic examination of stigma and social relations of residents of a dementia care unit. Dr. Peeples worked as an ethnographer and project coordinator at UMBC’s Center for Aging Studies before accepting her current position. As the Qualitative Director at MIRECC, Dr. Peeples is charged with developing the newly-established qualitative and mixed methods research unit. She provides guidance, training, and assistance to MIRECC investigators and research staff in conducting qualitative and mixed methods data collection and analysis. She is also pursuing a research program with a focus on the needs and experiences of older Veterans with serious mental illness.
Janet is the Associate Vice Provost for Education and Accreditation Liaison Officer at The Johns Hopkins University. Previously she served as the chief administrative office for the Loyola Clinical Centers, an interprofessional graduate training center. A licensed and certified speech-language pathologist, Janet’s dissertation utilized mixed-methods to explore marital satisfaction in spouses of patients with chronic aphasia. Janet presents nationally on the topic of prevention, assessment, and treatment of cognitive-communication disorders in older adults. She is the appointed coordinator for Special Interest Group 15: Gerontology in the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and a fellow and chair of the Speech-Language Pathology in the National Academies of Practice (NAP). In both positions, she advocates for health care policy reform that will improve the quality of lives for older adults. She also serves as a Speech-Language Pathology expert witness in federal Medicare false claim suits.
Lisa Reider, is an Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has experience and expertise in coordinating multi-center interdisciplinary research studies. Currently she serves as Director of Protocol Development and Implementation within the coordinating center for an orthopaedic trauma research consortium. Her research interests include musculoskeletal health, osteoporotic fracture and rehabilitation in older adults in addition to improving the quality of their health care.
Dr. Nancy Chiles Shaffer is now a Social Scien Reearch Analyst at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She joined the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging as a Postdoctoral fellow in October 2014 after earning her PhD and dual-degree in epidemiology. Her research interests include body composition, physical function, mobility disability, and health disparities. Her doctoral dissertation examined the effect of sarcopenia, age-associated decreases in muscle, and peripheral nerve function on gait speed among older adults with and without diabetes. She also investigated whether these relationships differed by race and gender. At NIA, she is currently investigating the impact of changes in body mass and muscle on physical performance in multiple longitudinal studies, as well as health disparities in physical performance over time.
Tara McMullen, PhD, MPH is an analyst for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Division of Chronic & Post-Acute Care. She is Technical Advisor for the Division of Chronic & Post-Acute Care for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Tara is the implementation lead for the efforts to standardize data elements and quality measures under the IMPACT Act of 2014. As Technical Advisor, Tara aides in the development of site-neutral payment systems and the implementation of value-based care frameworks. In 2019 Tara became a Presidential Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the National Opioid Initiative, Enterprise Opioid Strategy Team. In 2020 Tara added being an adjunct faculty member for the Master of Science in Aging and Health Program at Georgetown University. She graduated from the Doctoral Program in Gerontology in 2014 with a concentration in policy.
Flavius Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH
Flavius is Vice Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for academic and student affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). His research interests are in examining the physical environments and social inequalities of neighborhoods and their affect on the health and wellbeing of people as they age.
Laura Girling, PhD, MS
Laura is currently Director of the Center Aging Studies and an Assistant Research Scientist at University of Maryland, Baltimore County Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health. Her research interests include social and environmental contexts of community dwelling vulnerable populations (e.g., live alone persons with dementia). Her research is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Lynn Miescier, PhD, MHA
Lynn graduated in December 2015. Her dissertation was on "Advance care planning and family structure in late life." She works as a social scientist in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In addition to intramural research on hospice and long-term care, she works as part of the group evaluating new models in clinical care, community health, and payment and services delivery.
Cristan Smith, PhD, MA
Cristan is currently a Research Program Analyst with NIA. Previously she was a post-doctoral fellow in the Drug Dependence and Epidemiology Trainee Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She graduated in May 2016 after defending her dissertation, "Lifetime Drug Use and Mental and Physical Health at and Beyond Midlife."
Rasheeda Johnson, PhD
After graduation, Rasheeda will remain in the Maryland area as she currently works as a health insurance specialist and analyst at the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services. In this capacity she works with the CMS Innovation Center to prepare policy and test health care and delivery models. She defended her dissertaion, "Effects of Limb Length Discrepancy on Functional and Health-Related Outcomes in Hip Fracture Patients," and graduated in May 2016.
Mingliang Dai, PhD, MA
Ming graduated in December 2016. His dissertation is entitled, "Impact of Family Structure and Household Composition on Receipt of Caregiving, Trajectories of Disability, Hospital Discharge Destination and Risk of Readmission among Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Disabilites." He is a Health Services Researcher for the American Board of Family Medicine.
Shannon O'Connor, PhD, MA
Shannon is currently a Social Service Reearch Analyst at CMS in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. She graduated in December 2016. Her disseration was on, "Race and socioeconomic status as predictors of utilization and need for total knee arthroplasty for osteoarthritis: Data from the OsteoArthritis Initiative study."
Jing Xu, PhD, MA
Jing graduated in December 2016. Her disseration was, "The Patient-Centered Medical Home, Healthcare Utilization, and Expenditures for Older Adults with Cancer: A Quantitative Analysis". Jing currently is a Health Insurance Specialist at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Previously she was a Senior Research Associate at KNG Health Consulting.
Jennifer Howard-Doering, PhD, MSW, MPP
Jennifer is a researcher with over ten years of experience as an advocate and policy analyst focusing on supports and services for older adults and adults with disabilities. Her research interests are in Medicare and Medicaid duel-eligibility policy, national LTSS rebalancing efforts, LTSS initiatives for special populations, and aging with a disability. Her dissertation is examining aging with a disability from the individual’s perspective. Jennifer is currently a Research Public Health Analyst at RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC.
Elizabeth Couser, PhD, MSW
Dr. Elizabeth Couser defended her dissertation in 2018. Her doctoral work focused on ocular changes during Alzheimer’s disease and associations with sleep and neuropsychiatric symptoms. During her PhD, she completed the Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Aging Predoctoral Fellowship at Johns Hopkins and was the recipient of the UMB Gerontology Early Career Award to support her dissertation research. She also holds Bachelors degrees in music and psychology, and has a Master of Social Work, specializing in clinical geriatrics, and is a licensed social worker. Dr. Couser completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins in 2019. She is currently on an extended leave of absence while raising and enjoying her young children. She is passionate about her work with Alzheimer’s disease and will continue to support older adults and their families upon her return to the field.
Laura King is currently teaching gerontology courses at UMGC while volunteering regularly at the Calvert County Office on Aging. Laura’s dissertation focused on Implicit and Explicit Age Biases in Emergent Pre-Hospital EMS Providers.
Iona Johnson, PhD, MS
Iona is a clinical associate professor in speech language pathology at Towson University (TU). Through the use of a qualitative phenomenological approach, her dissertation provides insight regarding her participants lived experiences. The research asks, “What is the experience of stroke recovery for community dwelling women age 60 or older?”
Jamila M. Torain, PhD, MPH
Jamila recently graduated in 2019. Her dissertation, “Assessing the Impact of the Affordable Care Act Reimbursement Policy on the Medicare Home Health Care Market and Implications for Beneficiaries”, examined the impact of the recent Affordable Care Act reimbursement cuts on the Medicare Home Health Care market using both quantitative and qualitative methods. She is currently a Policy Analyst at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, continuing her focus on Medicare payments to post-acute care, access and quality.
Sarah Holmes, PhD, MSW
Sarah Holmes, PhD is currently an Assistant Professor in the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She graduated from the PhD program in 2019. Her dissertation was titled, “Examining the Assisted Living Environment and Residents’ Satisfaction with Assisted Living” which explored factors that impact residents’ satisfaction in assisted living settings. Her research interests are focused on the intersection of long-term care environments and quality of life outcomes for older adults and persons with dementia. Previously she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research.
Karen Johnson, PhD
Karen Johnson, PhD, is the Director of Quality and Measurement for the American Urological Association. Her research interests include healthcare quality measurement and improvement, as well as issues related to end-of-life and palliative care. Prior to joining the AUA, she served as a Senior Director at the National Quality Forum. In addition to her quality measurement expertise, she has extensive experience in healthcare data analytics, primarily in the fields of epidemiology and health services research. Karen defended her dissertation, “Quality and quality improvement in end-of-life care: Perceptions of hospice providers“, in April, 2020.
Roberto Millar, PhD, MA
Roberto J. Millar graduated from the program in July 2020. His dissertation topic is, “Neighborhood Social Environment and Lower Extremity Function in Older Adults”. Rob recently began a position as a Policy Analyst at UMBC's Hilltop Institute. There, he joins the Aging and Disability Studies examining the use of Home and Community Based Services among Maryland's Medicaid beneficiaries.